Posted on January 28 2015
Hey There Pretty Birds,
I don’t know if you know this about me, but one of my all time favorite make-up looks is the smokey eye. I used to wear the style all the time when I lived in NY, and I have it done here in Milan by my dear friend and make-up artist Michiko Ikeda whenever I have a shoot that requires make-up. The last time we worked together the idea of showing you her brand of smokey eye popped into my head, and we snapped these images as we went along – step by step for you to follow. If you don’t already wear a smokey eye, give it a try, you’ll love it! I went with natural lips here as I usually do when smokey. You can choose your lip color based on your personal preference. And if you are curious about what products to use, bellow is a gallery of the ones Michiko used as well as others that we thought you may like when you go smokey. Enjoy!
Shop The Items:
Dr Sebagh – Rose De Vie Serum Délicat
Dr Sebagh – Vital Cream Crème Hydratante
NARS – Sheer Matte Foundation
Laura Mercier – Oil Free Supreme Foundation
Inika – Truly Organic Liquid Foundation
Japonesque – Velvet Touch Foundation
Shiseido – Sheer And Perfect Compact Foundation
Tom Ford – Concealing Pen
Yves Saint Laurent – Anti-Cernes
Napoleon Perdis – Pro-Palette Tricolor Concealer
Estèe Lauder – Re-Nutritive Ultra Conclealer
Lord & Berry – Concealer Stick
Chantecaille – Bio Lift Concealer
Mac – Eye Pencil
By Terry – Ombre Blackstar Color Fix Cream Eyeshadow Stick Black Matte
Maybelline – Master Smoky
Charlotte Tilbury – Iconic Liquid Eye Pencil
Givenchy – Le Prisme Yeux Mono Eyeshadow Black
Chanel – Les 5 ombres
Dior – 5 Couleurs designer
Smashbox – Photo Op Eye Shadow Trio
Chanel – Mascara Inimitable Waterproof
Clarins – Colours Of Brazil Truly Waterproof Mascara
Aerin – Beauty Lengthening And Volumizing Mascara
Urban Decay – Perversion Mascara
& Other Stories – “4” Eyebrow Powder
NARS – Contour Blush
Chanel – Joues Contraste
Urban Decay – All Nighter Long-Lasting Makeup Setting Spray
Trish McEvoy – Long-Wear Face and Eye Makeup Remover Skin Cleansing Water
MAC – Demi-Wipes
NARS – Gentle Oil-Free Makeup Remover
Natura Bisse – Diamond White Instant Makeup Remover
Wait! Don’t go yet. Michiko and I have the best conversations whenever we work together, here’s what we said during our last shoot.
Tamu: Where were you born?
Michiko: I was born in Japan, in a city called Sakata.
Tamu: Did you study in Japan or Italy?
Michiko: In Italy. I came here when I was 19 to study the language, and after a year I decided to become a make-up artist.
Tamu: How did you begin?
Michiko: I was already passionate about make-up, and I decided to study special effects makeup in Rome. I loved sculpture, painting, art.
Tamu: When did you come to Milan?
Michiko: I moved to Milan at the end of 1999.
Tamu: Did you find a job right away?
Michiko: Yes, I did, just after getting my diploma I started working in television for RAI at Saxa Rubra.
Tamu: When you arrived in Milan did you start right away working for magazines?
Michiko: No, magazines came much later, I worked for RAI quite a bit longer. In the meantime, I started working in fashion in Rome, and I realized that it was much more creative. In order to follow fashion I then moved to Milan.
Tamu: What was your first job here in Milan?
Michiko: I worked a lot for free magazines like Urban. The first newspaper to pay me was La Repubblica. I also earned a living doing tests for models, which at the time was a very well-paid job.
Tamu: How long did it take you to build your own portfolio?
Michiko: I started with an agency. Only 2/3 years after moving to Milan did I begin meeting people and building my own portfolio.
Tamu: Where did you meet your husband?
Michiko: While I still lived in Rome, but we actually met in the Marche region of Italy while on a job. He works in the creative field as well, he’s a camera man.
Tamu: When did you realize that you were starting to work well?
Michiko: There wasn’t one particular moment, it’s a continuum. I never feel I have arrived, or am I satisfied. I will never be able to retire!
Tamu: Will you tell me a negative episode that happened while you were on a job?
Michiko: Nothing negative comes to mind.
Tamu: What about one of your best experiences?
Michiko: All of them. I always feel lucky because my job always takes me to amazing places with many different people.
Tamu: Which famous make-up artists have you worked with?
Michiko: Peter Phillips, Tom Pecheux, Dick Page, Aaron De Mey.
Tamu: How long does it take you, on average, to put make-up on yourself in the morning?
Michiko: 15/20 minutes every morning. In Japan we have a big culture for skincare. When we’re only 17 or 18 years old, we are taught how to take care of our skin.
Tamu: Do you think you could be a teacher?
Michiko: Maybe. The more I get old, the more I enjoy talking to people. I’ve always been asked to teach, even now. In the past I used to say no, because I didn’t feel up to it. Now I am beginning to take it into consideration. However I don’t want to do those courses that in the end don’t teach you anything.
Tamu: What would you do in a course?
Michiko: I haven’t thought about it yet.
Tamu: What do you think is missing, on a general level?
Michiko: The big picture. For freelancers like me, who work in fashion, knowing how to smudge perfectly is not as important as the big picture. We think of everything: outfit, hair, mood… No one can teach you this, you learn by working. It would be interesting if some teacher managed to explain this. To be a make-up artist you have to nurture your own sense of beauty. What works and what doesn’t. It’s a very artistic way of looking at the big picture.
As important as technique is, you need lots of taste. Taste grows by seeing and trying many things, by traveling. You only learn by experience, through the years, even if childhood is already essential, as for all kinds of artist.
Tamu: Do you have a contract with some brands?
Michiko: I don’t, there are no sponsors for make-up artists [in Italy right now]. Mac used to do it, but now they stopped. One should go around on their own and try lots of things, but if you work with an agency you can’t.
When I put make-up on people like you, Elisabetta Canalis and many more, I have always recommended some products that I love and that are long lasting.
Tamu: Do you think you could develop a line of your own products?
Michiko: I don’t feel I have enough know-how, but maybe with the help of somebody who already works in the field, I could. For example, in Japan you can find very cheap products that work very well, even waterproof ones. I don’t know, however, if it would be possible to import them, I should look into it more.
Tamu: What is your advice to someone who’s looking for the right products?
Michiko: If someone likes make-up, she will try many things. It’s very important to know the person in order to know what to recommend and how to put on make-up. I have a French friend who always has dark circles. Once she had a make-up artist cover them, and she was transformed, she looked like she was wearing a mask.
It is important to gauge the correct dose of make-up, what to use and where. I try and understand first the way a person habitually uses make-up and then I try to do the same, because if I go overboard, the person feels uneasy and takes off her make-up.
Tamu: How are models? Do they try to tell you what to do?
Michiko: No, they are like a blank canvas, they let me do anything.
Tamu: What about a model like Naomi Campbell?
Michiko: I think she would tell me what she wants. Actually, every person has their own style. Being an expert make-up artist is not enough, you have to understand a person’s look and try not to alter it.
I also like working with regular people, people who aren’t models. I feel good when I put make-up on them, I enhance their features, even make older women look younger. I quite miss doing those kinds of demonstrations I used to do in malls. People go away feeling amazed and liking themselves.
Like for any other job, always doing the same things can be wearisome after a while. Models are already beautiful, I enjoy more working on regular people, improving their appearance.